Learn Virtually
Jewish Wisdom Fellowship


Jewish Wisdom Fellowship

A Collective Learning and Thought Leadership Project for Jewish Professionals

The Jewish Wisdom Fellowship is generously supported by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

 

 

Overview

 

About the Fellowship

Hadar’s Jewish Wisdom Fellowship will empower thoughtful, passionate, and engaged Jewish professionals to embark on 5-weeks of virtual learning dedicated to wrestling with the questions currently confronting the Jewish community and the world.

Through a combination of guided learning, havruta, and group work, the Jewish Wisdom Fellowship will enable Jewish professionals to probe our tradition for wisdom that will help them and the communities they serve to navigate contemporary social, moral, and spiritual challenges. The program will conclude with a final project, determined by each fellow, aimed at sharing learnings with the broader Jewish professional field.

Who is this Fellowship For?

Jewish professionals have a unique role to play in guiding our communities. From day school and supplementary school educators to rabbis and spiritual leaders to musicians, community builders, camp professionals, justice seekers, and more -- Jews turn to these professionals for hope and comfort, for explanations and answers, for community and spirituality. We believe it is essential for Jewish professionals to deeply and critically engage with Jewish texts and act as active stewards of Jewish tradition.

What Will Our Learning Look Like?

At Hadar we seek to teach Torah that is uncompromisingly honest, spiritually meaningful, and socially responsible. We read both ancient and modern texts carefully, discussing possibilities, and exploring how the text may be relevant to contemporary situations. It is a process that requires deep listening, both to the text and to each other.

This felllowship will involve two types of learning:

  • Faculty-Guided Learning.Hadar’s renowned faculty will provide carefully constructed source sheets, rich with texts new and old, in the original and in english translation, and guide fellows through a process of unearthing the values, ideas, and principles embedded in the text. These will be intentionally facilitated sessions aimed at bringing our collective learning forward to the present day where it can be used in a variety of scenarios.
  • Havruta (One-on-One, Paired).We believe that one-on-one study and conversation is essential to the learning process. It allows one to function as both a teacher and a learner, helping your partner to learn while also learning yourself. As part of this fellowship, fellows will be matched with a havruta (study partner) to process the learning they are doing and prepare for upcoming sessions.

All source materials will include English translation. Hebrew knowledge is not required.

The Jewish Wisdom Fellowship is generously supported by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah.

 

Stipend

 

Accepted participants will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the fellowship in recognition of their time, energy, and enthusiasm.

 

Schedule

 

The fellowship will run for 5 weeks in June and July of 2021. The structure includes two weekly meetings: one 90-minute meeting devoted to learning with Hadar faculty and one 45-minute meeting dedicated to paired, one-on-one, havruta learning with another fellow. Additionally, we will offer 2 optional post-fellowships opportunities to continue learning with Hadar faculty and alumni of the program.

Faculty sessions will occur on Tuesdays of each week from 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern beginning June 22, 2021.

Havruta sessions will occur later in the week at a time determined by each havruta pair.

In addition to the above requirements, each fellow will be responsible for completing a final project that allows them to share their learning with their work community. This could be a D’var Torah for a staff meeting, a class they will teach, a sermon, a video, an art project, etc. The project will be due one month after the closing session.

The schedule of learning will be as follows:

Date Program
6/22/2021 Opening Session
TBD Havruta Session
6/29/2021 Faculty Session
TBD Havruta Session
7/06/2021 Faculty Session
TBD Havruta Session
7/13/2021 Faculty Session
TBD Havruta Session
7/20/2021 Closing Session
TBD Independent Project Session
8/17/2021 Project Due

 

What Will We Learn?

 

This fellowship aims to provide Jewish professionals with a text-based Jewish framework for addressing the moral, spiritual, and communal challenges of the day. The content of the fellowship will shift along with the changing needs of the community.

Last year, our learning was heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. We focused on topics such as “Living in a State of Uncertainty,” “Learning from the Historical Jewish Experience,” and “Anchoring our Religious Leadership.”

Each year, Hadar will crowdsource questions in order to assess the critical issues confronting our community. We will then select 3-4 primary questions to shape the curriculum of the program and lead fellows as they draw on the Jewish tradition for wisdom and guidance.

Some examples of questions include:

  • What texts and rituals address trauma in a way that can help guide parents, teachers, students and others as we transition towards reopening?
  • How do we balance care for people and for the earth right now?
  • How should the Jewish community respond to issues of racism, equity, and inclusion?
  • Now that our world is virtual, who constitutes the “neighbor” we are obligated to support?

 

Cohorts

 

We invite all Jewish professionals to apply for this fellowship.

In order to cultivate meaningful, useful, and intimate learning experiences, we will divide fellows into 4 cohorts:

  • Jewish Professional Cohort: Two of our cohorts will be open to all Jewish professionals, from any field, any role in the organization, and with any background in jewish learning.
  • Clergy Cohort: For the second year we will offer a cohort designated for rabbis and clergy from any denomination and serving in any role within an organization.
  • Executive Leadership Cohort: This cohort invites those serving in an executive role within their organization to join with other executive leaders.

 

Meet Our Fellows

 

Clergy Cohort | Executive Leadership Cohort | General Cohort on the topic of Money and Power | General Cohort on the topic of Reopening

 

Clergy Cohort

Rabbi Noah Arnow

Kol Rinah

Noah Arnow is a rabbi of Kol Rinah, a Conservative synagogue in St. Louis.

 

Rabbi Alex Braver

Tifereth Israel

Alex Braver has served as a rabbi at Tifereth Israel since the summer of 2016, and loves the privilege of being present with people in life's most joyful and challenging moments. After graduating from Brandeis University in 2009, Alex taught at a Boston charter school tutorial program, working to bring small groups of students up to grade level in math and English. He then studied at Hadar (Y '10-11, S '11) before deciding to pursue rabbinic ordination at JTS, where he was ordained in 2016. Alex lives in Columbus, OH with his husband (also named Alex!), their son Ezra, and their dog Benjy.

 

Rabbi Abe Friedman

Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel

Abe Friedman is a rabbi who also DJs as "DJ Aluminum." His other interests include playing electric guitar and piano and designing and building guitar effect pedals and other small electronics. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Abe lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Rebecca Krasner, and their children Odelia, Azriel, Yonah, and Miryam. He received his rabbinic ordination at the Ziegler School and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the AJU.

 

Rabbi Meir Goldstein

The Oregon Hillel Foundation

Rabbi Meir Goldstein is blessed to serve as the Senior Jewish Educator at the Oregon Hillel Foundation and instructor on the Judaic Studies faculty at the University of Oregon. He is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism that supports the flourishing of every human being. A passionate student of Torah, Rabbi Goldstein attended the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University, where he earned an MA in Rabbinic Studies in 2003 and Rabbinic Ordination in 2006. He seeks to elevate human dignity of those around him. When not at work, you will find him the happiest being out on a hiking trail, baking bread, playing guitar, or studying. Rabbi Goldstein lives in the holy city of Eugene, Oregon, with his wife, Laura, and their loving (yet bossy) shih tzu, Koofi.

 

Rabbi Lauren Henderson

Congregation Or Hadash

Rabbi Lauren Henderson originally hails from Spartanburg, SC, and now serves Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. She earned her BA from Rice University in 2009 in Religious Studies and History, and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 2016 with a Master’s in Midrash. She was part of the Jewish Emergent Network’s first rabbinic fellowship and served as associate rabbi at Mishkan Chicago until 2020. Rabbi Lauren is married to Joel Dworkin, an outdoor experiential educator and a brilliant home chef, and they have an adorable dog named Sophie.

 

Rabbi Ron Muroff

Chisuk Emuna Congregation

Rabbi Ron Muroff - a compassionate pastor, teacher, and leader for members of Chisuk Emuna Congregation and the broader Harrisburg community since 1993. Muroff meets people where they are at, accompanying them on their paths and supporting their explorations of Jewish wisdom and practice. Muroff brings people together, including through a collection of divrei Torah, entitled, The Fire Within Us. He is involved in interfaith work and efforts to combat domestic violence in the Jewish community. Muroff is grateful to Hadar faculty, staff and students for opportunities to learn together.

 

Rabba Dorothy Richman

Makor Or Jewish Meditation

Rabba Dorothy Richman serves as the rabbi of Makor Or: Jewish Meditation, is a founding faculty member of the Romemu Yeshiva, and a faculty member of Or haLev. Something of Mine, her album of original music, is available on Bandcamp.

 

Rabbi Baruch Rock

Irvine Hebrew Day School

As a seasoned educator Rabbi Rock has shown dedication to progressive Jewish learning, empowering each child to their own voice and connection with Judaism, and supporting teachers in developing and implementing a cohesive program with the highest standards. In addition to his Jewish educational experience, Rabbi Rock also has a Bachelor's degree from NYU in History and Journalism. As a certified Permaculturalist, with a Masters degree in Desert Studies, Rabbi Rock is passionate about immersive outdoor education. Rabbi Rock believes that engaging students within the natural world to stimulate connection to science, ecology and Torah, allows students to develop deeper connections to each other and the world.

 

Rabbi Ariella Rosen

Hillel Ontario

Rabbi Ariella Rosen is a Senior Jewish Educator at Hillel Ontario serving students at the University of Toronto. She grew up in West Hartford, CT and received BAs in psychology and Midrash from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She returned to JTS for Rabbinical School where she was ordained in 2015, and spent three years serving on the rabbinic team at Temple Adath Israel in Merion Station, PA. Prior to moving to Toronto, she was the Director of Rabbinical and Cantorial School Admissions at JTS. Rabbi Ariella loves to engage creatively with Jewish ideas and texts, and seeks to incorporate a sense of joy and play alongside the profound and meaningful.

 

Rabbi Rachel Rubenstein

Temple of Aaron

Rabbi Rachel Rubenstein serves as the co-Rabbi of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, NY (JFGOC). Rabbi Rubenstein was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary where she also received a Masters of Jewish Education.

 

Rabbi Becca Weintraub

B'nai Jeshurun

I am excited to learn with and from Hadar in the Beit Midrash over the coming month! My love of Torah, hesed, and people led me to Hebrew College Rabbinical school where I was ordained last summer. I am blessed to serve as the assistant rabbi at B'nai Jeshurun and love spending time in the beautiful parks of the UWS with my husband Jeremy and 9 month old Azamra.

 

Rabbi Ilana Zietman

GatherDC

Rabbi Ilana Zietman (she/her) is a pluralistic rabbi who loves to create Jewish experiences and foster communities that are relevant, thought-provoking and most importantly, welcoming. She recently moved back to DC after five years in Boston, where she received her rabbinic ordination and a Master’s degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Zietman served in numerous rabbinic roles at Tufts University Hillel, Congregation Kehillath Israel, Hebrew SeniorLife and the JustCity Leadership Institute at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also founded Hashmi’ini, a student-faculty partnership at Hebrew College supporting women, non-binary, and trans rabbinical students. Rabbi Zietman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College and JTS in 2011. She currently lives in Adams Morgan, DC with her husband, Jack and their dog, Ella.

 

Rabbi Jonah Geffen

Hunter Hillel

Rabbi Jonah Geffen is the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi at Hunter Hillel. Jonah has taught, led, and organized across the Jewish communal landscape at such places as J Street, The New Shul, Yeshivat Hadar, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Kivunim, and The Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. Jonah attended Young Judaea Year Course, received his BA in History and Jewish Studies from Indiana University, an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and an MA in Jewish Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was a Kollel Fellow at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, a summer fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. His writing has been featured in the Washington Post, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and the Huffington Post, among others.

 

Executive Leadership Cohort

Philissa Cramer

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Philissa Cramer is the editor in chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the century-old news organization covering the Jewish world. Prior to joining JTA in 2020, she was a founder and editor at Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization covering education. A graduate of Brown University, she is returning to the New York area this summer with her husband, Rabbi Benjamin Resnick, and two sons.

 

Lance Davis

JNF Canada

For my entire adult life, I have been engaged in Jewish learning and service. I had the opportunity to engage in Jewish Studies with some of the finest scholars in North America at Tulane University, Brandeis University, and the University of Toronto. I have held a number of dream jobs throughout my career working on campus, for UIA Federations Canada, the Calgary Jewish Federation and now JNF Canada. I am the proud father of three children: Coby, Ariel and Adira.

 

Jason Feld

Northwest Yeshiva High School

Jason Feld is Head of School at Northwest Yeshiva High School in the greater Seattle area. Mr. Feld is known for his cutting-edge pedagogy and for creating an internationally recognized Israel studies program. Mr. Feld has lectured on Israel education at Limmud, ORT, Israel Action Committee, Lahav, The UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and most recently to a cohort of Jewish educators from 36 countries for Unpacked for Educators-Open Dor Media.

 

Rachel Figurasmith

Repair the World

Rachel Figurasmith (she/her) serves as Executive Director of Repair the World NYC, where she oversees a growing and incredible team of staff and volunteers in their efforts to make meaningful service a part of everyday life for American Jews. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Rachel is passionate about increasing access to quality education for all young people. Herself a person with disabilities, she is committed to advocacy for people with disabilities. When Rachel is not leading Repair's fearless and incredible NYC based teams, she is an adjunct instructor at Hebrew College and can be found chasing after her two young children. Rachel holds a Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, a Bachelors from Hampshire College and is the recipient of the Jewish Education Project’s Young Pioneers Award and the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Seeds of Innovation Alumni Grant.

 

Jeni Friedman

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

Jeni is Executive Vice President of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and directs the Nahum Goldmann Fellowship. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU. A Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson scholar, she has done extensive research on the development of clergy education and the formation of Jewish identity. Jeni speaks frequently on global Jewish peoplehood, and the creation of a passionate and purposeful life for Jews in the Diaspora and Israel.

 

Jen Josephs

Shames JCC on the Hudson

Jen Josephs is a human-centered designer who specializes in building meaningful relationships between Jewish organizations and audiences. A former designer of museums and public spaces, Jen became the Chief Marketing Officer of the Shames JCC on the Hudson. Today, she consults with many organizations and serves as the Shames JCC’s Chief Brand Strategist. Jen believes that “everything is Torah.” She lives in Tarrytown, NY with her three pre/teenagers who shockingly, still like her. Mostly.

 

Alan Rusonik

Ilan Ramon Day School

Mr. Alan Rusonik was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from JTS with an MA in Jewish Education. Prior to serving as a Head of School in Orlando, he served as an educational leader in communities in Houston and San Diego. He is excited for his new position as Head of School at the Ilan Ramon Day School in Agoura Hills, CA, beginning this summer. He is married to Dana, originally from South Africa. They met in Israel during their junior year abroad. They have 4 children.

 

Robert J. Saferstein

Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA)

Robert J. Saferstein is an interdisciplinary creative and entrepreneur. He harnesses media, design, and ritual, to craft experiences that impact and strengthen community, and develops multi-platform solutions that drive social good. Robert is currently the Director of Programming and Strategy for the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). He previously served as Market Development Director at Sh’ma Now hosted by the Forward, and Creative Director at Broadways Best Shows. Named to The New York Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” and a multiple Natan Grant recipient, Robert founded Eighteen:22—a global network of Jewish LGBTQ+ changemakers—as a Schusterman Connection Point in Salzburg, Austria, and developed JDC Entwine’s first-of international LGBTQ+ experiences. A graduate of NYU Tisch, and an ROI Community member, Robert is also an accomplished artist in the worlds of photography, film, music, and theatre.

 

Susan Wachsstock

The Jewish Education Project

Susan Holzman Wachsstock is the Chief Program Officer at The Jewish Education Project. Before joining The Jewish Education Project in 2014, Susan was the Executive Director of Jewish Student Connection and of Matan. She also previously worked for Hillel International and at UJA-Federation of New York. In a volunteer capacity, Susan serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors at Westchester Day School. Susan has an MA In Jewish Studies from The Jewish Theological Seminary and an MSW from Columbia University. Susan studied at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and is an alum of the FEREP Graduate Program and The Columbia Business School Executive Education Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership. Susan lives in White Plains, NY with her husband and three children.

 

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman came to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association as Executive Director in the fall of 2015. During her tenure she created the Office of Rabbinic Career Development to serve the professional needs of rabbis in any field of work. As one of the founding faculty at Camp Havaya, she has served on the summer faculty for many years. Before coming to the RRA, Rabbi Wechterman served as spiritual leader of Congregation Agudas Achim in Attleboro, Massachusetts from 2001 to June of 2014. Additionally, she has taught at the college and adult level in many settings and worked broadly with children and families with special needs to create inclusive communities for Jews of all abilities and backgrounds. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Wechterman brings an open and inclusive approach to teaching Jewish life and traditions. In addition to rabbinic ordination, Rabbi Wechterman holds a BA in International Relations and BS in Journalism from Boston University.

 

Jennifer Weinstock

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Greater Boston

Jennifer Weinstock is currently the Senior Vice President of Philanthropy at Combined Jewish Philanthropies where she oversees more than $60M in philanthropic activity every year including a $49M annual campaign, endowment, planned giving and supplementary giving. Jennifer also oversees the partnership with the Board of Directors, governance, and volunteer leadership at CJP. Previously Jennifer was the Associate Head of School for External Relations at Gann Academy for six years. Before coming to Gann, Jennifer spent six years at the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education and more than a decade at WGBH, Boston’s public broadcasting station, as the senior Major Gifts officer, Director of Stewardship, and Director of the Major Gifts Annual Fund. Jennifer was a member of the pilot class of the Wexner Field Fellowship, is on the board of Maimonides School, and is a member of Young Israel of Brookline. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she was active in Hillel and lives in Brookline, MA, with her husband Amiel and three sons.

 

Lora Zygman

Congregation Or Shalom

Lora is the Executive Director of Congregation Or Shalom. Prior to this role, Lora worked for many years at Hebrew Union College, the seminary of the Reform Movement. Lora has a BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois, a masters in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute and a Certificate in Jewish Leadership. She also has a certificate in Strategic Leadership from Northwestern University. Lora recently participated in the Upstart Change Accelerator program, in a cohort focused on reimagining institutions, and is enrolled in a leadership program at Raise the Bar. Lora has 3 grown children and 4 rescue dogs.

 

General Cohort on the topic of Money and Power

Marianne Bloomberg

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Marianne Bloomberg is the Associate Director, Philanthropic Engagements for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. She has spent her almost 30 year career working for the Detroit Jewish community. She has also served on the board of Congregation Shaarey Zedek and is currently part of the Detroit cohort of Jewish Women Invest. Marianne is married to Robert Bloomberg, and is the proud mother of Allison, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, and Will, a sophomore at Michigan State University. Marianne is a graduate of Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, and studies regularly with 3 friends from her graduating class.

 

Charlie Hersh

Jewish Learning Venture

Char is a public historian who specializes in American Jewish history. They have worked as an educator at a number of museums including the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. They currently serve as Administrative Assistant at Jewish Learning Venture, where they help families form meaningful connections to Jewish life. Char is active at their synagogue, Kol Tzedek, serves on the High Holiday Task Force, and volunteers as a leyner.

 

Max Hollander

The Blue Dove Foundation

I am a New Jersey based content creator, whose passion for Torah and Judaism has enabled me to work on a number of fun and exciting projects with the goal of bringing the Jewish ideas and values I love to the masses. From podcasting to video production to written content, I am proud of what I have accomplished. When I am not working on Jewish media projects, I am reading books about Jewish academia, watching Netflix comedy specials, walking my dog Momo, and hanging out with my wife, Ruthie, sometimes all at once!

 

Nava Kantor

Jewish Federation of St. Louis

Nava Kantor serves as Manager of Community Assessment & Planning at Jewish Federation of St. Louis. In this role, she partners with lay leaders and community organizations to assess Jewish communal needs and create plans to address them. Nava has worked at several philanthropy-focused organizations and has significant experience facilitating grantmaking and evaluation processes. Nava helped found MaTovu, an inclusive Jewish space in St. Louis, and volunteers with a local organization working to further racial equity and community health. She holds an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Larry Lesser

UTEP Distinguished Teaching Professor

Formerly a congregational music director, supplemental education teacher, and day school department head, Larry Lesser is now a professor based in El Paso, where he gives classes/concerts at congregational, community, and university events (larrylesser.com/judaism). He’s won state and national awards as an educator and also as a songwriter and his new Jewish album (larrylesser.com/sparks) is a Finalist in 4 categories (including Album of the Year) in the 2021 New Mexico Music Awards.

 

Mina Pasajlic

Haver Srbija

Mina has been involved in informal Jewish education since she was 17. She worked for JDC as a Program director at Szarvas International Jewish summer camp (Hungary) for ten years and now works as a Coordinator of educational programs at an NGO Haver Serbia which she helped co-found. Mina is a proud alumna of Paideia Institute for Jewish Studies, Stockholm, and Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem. Mina is as a Jewish educator for educational projects in Jewish communities of Serbia.

 

Rabbi Stacy Rigler

Foundation for Jewish Camp

Rabbi Stacy Rigler, MAJE is the Senior Program Manager for Jewish Education at the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Prior to coming to FJC she worked for 17 years as Rabbi Educator at Kenesth Israel. There she created and ran a shared Reform/Conservative Jewish education program, JQuest B'Yachad for the community in Elkins Park, PA. In addition to her congregational work Stacy held a shared position as JLife staff and Jlife network program manager for URJ Camp Harlam and the URJ’s Youth Department. Stacy is a volunteer leader in RAC-PA, has held recent leadership positions with POWER (Faith in Action Philadelphia), the ARJE, and #OnwardHebrew. She received her MAJE and Rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR and her undergraduate degree from Emory University.

 

Nicole Samuel

Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University

Nicole Samuel is an Associate Research Scientist at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Her work is focused on Jewish institutions and their role in supporting Jewish life and community, and has included studies of Jewish retreating, Jewish life at overnight camp, professional development in Hillel, and innovation in synagogues and JCCs. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts and is an active member of Cambridge Minyan, a lay- lead egalitarian prayer community.

 

Julia Spiegel

Queer and Trans Rosh Chodesh (QTRC)

As Co-Founder and Co-Director of QTRC since 2017, Julia (she/they) has helped form a brave and loving community of queer Jews that meets to celebrate the new moon, engage deeply with our tradition, and be together in an affirming space. Originally (and still) a Rosh Chodesh circle centered on the queer Jewish community in and around Boulder, Colorado, QTRC has brought together people in sacred community from many parts of the U.S. Julia is passionate about using and teaching the sacred tools of Judaism to help bring about a more just, and more healed, world. Julia is a Shanah Aleph student in the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Newton, MA.

 

Mikayla Stokes

Hillel Jewish Student Center at ASU

Mikayla Laufer Stokes grew up in Anchorage Alaska as part of the “frozen chosen” and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. After graduating in the spring of 2016 with a degree in Geology, Mikayla spent a year English in Ashdod, Israel as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow. Mikayla currently works at ASU Hillel as the Director of Engagement and serves as the President of ASU’s Council of Religious Advisors. Mikayla just completed her masters degree in April of 2021 in management of technology and has a passion for data driven Jewish engagement.

 

General Cohort on the topic of Reopening

Rebecca Berger

IKAR

Rebecca will transition to a new role as Director of Education at IKAR in July. She has served as Assistant Educational Director and Judaic Studies teacher at Sinai Akiba Academy for the past 11 years. Rebecca is an alumna of DeLeT (a day school teacher leader education program) and continues to mentor teachers through the DeLeT program. She earned her Masters of Arts in Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion.

 

Dalia Caplan

UpStart

Dalia is passionate about Judaism and believes Jewish life can and should have a place for everyone. She has over 5 years of experience in the Jewish non-profit sector, and loves to serve those in her community with her skills. Currently a Design Strategist at Upstart, Dalia has also worked in the medical non-profit and corporate world. A California native, Dalia now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, son, and dog. When she's not hanging out with them, you can find her chatting about big ideas with friends or curled up on the couch with a book.

 

Amanda Herring

Edlavitch DCJCC

Amanda Herring is the Manager of Jewish Life and Learning at the Edlavitch DCJCC and the Co-founder of Gold Herring. She is a 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech where she spent a semester at Haifa University and served as Hillel President. After graduation she worked at Hillel at VT, BirthrightNEXT in New York, and as Regional Director at the Israel on Campus Coalition. In 2018 Amanda received her Master’s in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts at GW, and completed the JOFEE Fellowship in Jewish, Outdoor, Food, Farming and Environmental Education with Hazon placed at OneTable in Washington, D.C. It was there that she combined her passions for Shabbat and sustainable food which together can nourish and heal communities and ecosystems.

 

Rebecca Katz-White

UJA Federation of New York

Rebecca Katz-White is a Planning Director in the Jewish Life department at UJA Federation of New York, focused on the organization’s work in Israel. Previously she was part of UJA’s Commission on the Jewish People where she managed grant portfolios focused on engaging interfaith families in New York and Israeli civil society. Before coming to UJA Rebecca was a public interest lawyer, serving as a public defender, a union labor lawyer and as the staff attorney for a disability rights organization. She also taught basic education to adults who had immigrated to the United States. Rebecca is an alumna of the Ruskay Fellowship. She studied political science at Stanford University and received her J.D. from Stanford Law School. She lives on Long Island with her husband Rabbi Michael White and has two children, David and Talia.

 

Ariel Moritz

Center for Rabbinic Innovation

Ariel Moritz is the Director of Program Operations at the Center for Rabbinic Innovation. She has over a decade of experience directing and designing immersive and educational programs. She previously served as the Director of Jewish Learning at Congregation Beth El in San Diego and the Director of International Programs at Global Leadership Adventures. Ariel is a JDC Jewish Service Corps alumna (she served in Izmir, Turkey), is Wilderness First Responder certified and earned her BA from New York University and a Teaching Certificate from Gratz College.

 

Rabbi MJ Newman

Greenwich Hospital, Yale New Haven Health

Rabbi Newman is the Rabbi/chaplain at the Corman Center for Palliative Care at Greenwich Hospital, Yale New Haven Health. She has held that position for the past six years after having received board certification in chaplaincy and specialist certification in palliative care. She has developed a nationally recognized program, The Circle of Hope, which focused on the psycho/spiritual support of frontline workers during the pandemic and has now been expanded to include addressing the experience of post-traumatic stress in the months following the crisis.

 

Rabbi Kliel Rose

Congregation Etz Chayim

Rabbi Kliel is the spiritual leader of Congregation Etz Chayim located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was ordained in 2004 at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). As a senior rabbinical student, Kliel received the prestigious Rabbi Marshal T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellowship at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. In 2014 he was awarded the Human Rights Hero Award by T’ruah: The rabbinic call for Human Rights. In 2018 he was selected as one of 20 North American Rabbis to train in the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI) fellowship program. Kliel is married to Dorit Kosmin—a Social Worker, and talented musician; together they are the proud co-parents of five beautiful & lively children, ages 7-20.

 

Dalia Shapiro

BBYO

Dalia Shapiro is the Senior Director of Community Engagement, Northeast at BBYO. She previously worked on three Hillel campuses including NYU, Columbia/Barnard, and UC Berkeley. Dalia is an alumnus of the Israel gap-year program, KIVUNIM: New Directions. She received her B.A. from the Gallatin School at NYU. Originally from Boston, Dalia moved back to the East Coast after living in Oakland, California for five years. Dalia lives in Maplewood, NJ, with her husband, Alex, and one year old son, Theo.

 

Yael Steiner

Civic Spirit

Yael Steiner is the Associate Director of Programs at Civic Spirit where she works to strengthen civic education in schools rooted in a faith community. She previously worked at Prizmah and RAVSAK, running leadership development, community engagement, and student programs. She has also served as the Jewish studies coordinator at Beit Rabban Day School and taught Jewish studies at SAR Academy. Yael earned a BA from the University of Michigan and a dual MA in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU, where she studied as a Jim Joseph and Wexner-Davidson graduate fellow.

 

Rebecca Stevens

Mishkan Chicago

Rebecca Stevens is the Director of Strategy and Design at Mishkan Chicago. She is a designer, facilitator and theater maker. She has worked broadly across the non-profit sector including museums, libraries, community news rooms, immigration law clinics, and humanities organizations. As an artist, her participatory theater events and installations have been produced at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Shakespeare 400, and Chicago Humanities Festival. Rebecca has worked with Mishkan as an Experience Designer since 2014. She holds a BA in theater and creative writing from Northwestern University and an MFA in Performance Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

 

Mark Young

JCC Association of North America

Mark S. Young is passionate about strengthening the experience and opportunities for the professionals who help make thriving Jewish community a reality. Mark writes and speaks frequently on how to best invest in Jewish professional talent, including his new book, "Bless Our Workforce," and his 2016 ELI Talk: Mah Tovu. Mark has been the inaugural director of JResponse at JCC Association of North America since July 2019. Mark previously served at JTS for 8 1/2 years, most recently as its Managing Director of its Leadership Commons at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, and previously as the school’s Director of Alumni Engagement and Program Coordinator for its Experiential Learning Initiative. Mark has also served in Human Resources, Staff Training, and Programming Roles for Episcopal Social Services of New York, the 92nd Street Y, and Camp Wise of the Mandel JCC of Cleveland, Ohio. Mark holds a BS in Psychology and Economics from McGill University, as well as an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University, and was in class 1 of the Wexner Field Fellowship. Mark lives in Hartsdale, NY with his wife, Rabbi Mara Young, and two children, Noah Sadie and Asher Russell, and dog, Lucky.

 

 

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Past Projects

 

Time Capsule Project

Cohort members: Rachel Dingman, Rachel Hodes, Ari Hoffman, Sonia Marie Leikam, Julee Levine, Orlea Miller, Tony Westbrook, Akiko Yonekawa

We are creating the next piece in the Jewish canon to tell the story of this moment for generations to come. We have designed a living mural – using Padlet – to collect images, quotes, texts, or videos that encapsulate this moment for you and for our Jewish communities.

The link below will allow you to access four different living murals: Community, Inspiration/Wisdom, Growth/Support, and Uncertainty. We hope that you will add your pieces of wisdom to this community project.

Submit pictures, text, links, and reflections to the Time Capsule Project.

 

Questions and Answers of Uncertainty: A Jewish Professional Vlog Project

Cohort members: Rachel Goldrich, Allegra Heath-Stout, Lea New Minkowitz, Alana Rahmani, Evelyn Tauben, Naomi Tucker, Eliezer Weinbach, Tamar Zaken

The past months have resulted in tremendous upheaval in people's lives, leaving a present and future that are unclear and uncharted. Yet, Jewish texts contain an incredible amount of wisdom to impart to those facing uncertainty. This vlog project documents the accumulated learning of 8 Jewish professionals over the course of 2 months in the midst of a global pandemic. As the uncertainty of this moment stretches further into the future, we hope this vlog will validate your feelings of doubt, empower you to reflect on the uncertainty in your life, and enable you to embrace the moments of growth that hide within the dark.

 

Learning From the Past: We're Still In the Cave

Cohort members: Naomi Adland, Amram Altzman, Ilana Bauman, Marlene Copeland Dodinval, Matthew Kolbert, Larisa Klebe, Naomi Reem, Josh Satok

Over the past several months each and every one of us has been in some form of confinement: physical, social, or both. This discussion guide is an opportunity to seek wisdom and comfort from our Jewish tradition through stories of characters who experienced their own caves, both literal and figurative. We hope that this resource will help those who engage with it feel seen and heard in the chaos of this moment.

View or download the discussion guide here.

 

A Kavanah Before the Sounding of Shofar Blasts

Cohort members: Matt Austerklein, Hart Levine, Sharon Mars, Carnie Shalom Rose

Four calls of the shofar. Four letters in the name of God. Four texts about God’s presence when are in crisis. Four students hear God in the blasts, in the silence, in the chaos, and in the hope.

View or download the Kavanah here.

 

God, Will You Come to my Sukkah? Masked or Unmasked?

Cohort members: Betsy Forester, Benji Stanley, Micaehl Satz

Whereas we normally invite friends, family, and mystical guests into our sukkot to celebrate with us, this year we have been bereft of that opportunity due to the pandemic. Perhaps only God joins us. That possibility brings to the surface theological challenges and questions many are experiencing at this tragic and challenging time. Each of three rabbis from this cohort offered personal responses to the question: Where, or how, are you finding God now?

This project was presented as a Zoom event during Hol HaMoed Sukkot.

 

Looking for God In a Time of Chaos: A Simchat Torah Seder and Haggadah

Cohort members: Betsy Forester, Megan GoldMarche, Shuli Passow, Marcelo Polakoff

This year, many of us celebrated Simchat Torah at home. This haggadah, or collection of texts, questions and rituals, is meant to serve as a guide for your evening, much in the way that the Passover haggadah would lead you through the holiday seder meal. Each section represents one hakafah, which traditionally is a circle dance we do with the Torah seven times on Simchat Torah.

View or download the Simchat Torah Seder and Haggadah here.

Our 2020 Fellows

Below is a list of our 2020 Jewish Wisdom Fellowship Cohort. You can click here to learn more about the 2020 fellows.

General Cohort

Akiko Yonekawa
Alana Rahmani
Allegra Heath-Stout
Amram Altzman
Ari Hoffman
Eliezer Weinbach
Evelyn Tauben
Ilana Bauman
Josh Satok
Julee Levine
Larisa Klebe
Lea New Minkowitz
Marlene Copeland Dodinval
Matthew Kolbert
Naomi Reem
Naomi Adland
Naomi Tucker
Orlea Miller
Rachel Hodes
Rachel Goldrich
Rachel Dingman
Sonia Marie Leikam
Tamar Zaken
Tony Westbrook

 

Clergy Cohort

Benji Stanley
Betsy Forester
Carnie Shalom Rose
Hart Levine
Marcelo Polakoff
Matthew Austerklein
Megan GoldMarche
Michael Satz
Sharon Mars
Shuli Passow

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